Monday, 12 April 2021

Plans for flat with no bedroom window deferred

Wrexham Council's planning committee has tonight deferred making a decision about new flats, one of which had no bedroom window.

Wrexham town centre is undergoing a transformation in terms of urban living as landlords look to repurpose redundant or empty retail and office space.

That's not a problem if done in a way that enhances the town, provides good-quality accommodation for people to live.

But the planning application for five flats at 43 King Street included a flat with no bedroom window, some windows opening out above the bins and another window looks out on a wall less than three metres away is not good-quality accommodation. This goes against local planning guidance note 21.

Cllr Marc Jones, whose Grosvenor ward includes King St, said: "We’re seeing more and more of these schemes coming forward in the town centre, some imaginative and providing much-needed accommodation. But in some cases landlords seem intent on squeezing as many people as possible into these spaces - that may be in their interests but it’s not in the interests of their tenants or the town as a whole.

"If we ignore guidelines - which are there for a reason - then we’re on a very slippery slope.

"In this specific case, there is no outdoor amenity, again contrary to planning guidance.

"These new King St residents would be expected to use Llwyn Isaf for amenity. This is the only green space available for the hundreds of new town-centre residents. There will be no outdoor space so where are clothes dried or bikes parked and people able to sit outside?

"Finally, there are only 2 parking spaces provided for 5 flats. This ignores the reality that people need cars to get to work and visit friends and family, because of public transport is so inadequate. It just means people in these new flats would turn to nearby residential streets for their parking.

"Any thoughtful town-centre redevelopment needs to preserve and enhance the best features of our town while responding to changing demands. Yes, office space and shops are reducing in number.

"The town-centre Task and Finish group, which starts deliberating this week, will hopefully see the need to ensure stricter planning guidelines - especially regarding space, amenity and minimum parking.

"Living in the town centre should not mean inferior or inadequate housing."

The committee decided to defer the application to allow concerns about the hazard of a windowless bedroom to be discussed further.

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